Friday Five: My Favorite National Parks

This week’s Friday Five is Five Favorites. Since I love being outdoors so much, I decided to list out my five favorite National Parks. So far, I have been to 19 of them and I’m gonna go ahead and list the 5 best! Thanks to Mar on the Run, Eat Pray Run, and You Signed up for What?! for hosting the linkup.

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  1. Glacier National Park

This one obviously had to make first on the list. Frank and I got married at Glacier a little over 3 years ago, where we had our closest friends and family with us to celebrate the wonderful day. The park is more than magical. It teems with wildlife and beautiful flowers. Every direction you look is a more fantastic view than the last. There are tons of day and overnight hikes around the park, and there are even trails that are accessible to people with injuries or are handicapped.

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Our wedding was pretty small, but it really was such an amazing experience.

  1. Canyonlands National Park

Recently Frank and I took a trip out to Moab, Utah and we spent a good amount of time in Canyonlands. Although Arches National Park is more popular for that region, Canyonlands offers trails that are longer and with way less people. We hiked probably about 50 miles around the park, and even did an overnight trip. If you are ever in Utah… this place is pretty amazing!

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Frank and I went mountain biking at Canyonlands. It was pretty awesome!

  1. Gates of the Arctic National Park

During the summers of 2013 and 2014, I did some fieldwork at Toolik Field Station in the north slope of Alaska. The field station was right up against Gates of the Arctic, which is incredibly inaccessible to most people. The park is pristine and there are no trails. Basically, you just wander around through the tundra in a particular direction to head up mountain peaks. There are bears, porcupines, elk, moose… basically there’s almost any mega-fauna you could think of out there. This park made the list because you really get to feel like an explorer when you are out there. You get to see things that hardly anyone sees, and it really feels like you’re the first person to ever step foot there.

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Nearly to the summit of the highest peak in the Brooks Range. We didn’t quite make it because visibility near the summit was non-existent. 

  1. Everglades National Park

I grew up in South Florida, pretty close to the Everglades. I remember large afternoon storms brewing over the everglades and dumping steamy rain on to Coral Springs. I’ve been to the Everglades many times, but the craziest was when Frank and I paddled 100 miles through the park along the Wilderness Waterway. It took us 7 days. The Everglades is a fantastic place to see a really unique ecosystem. If you live close, you should check it out!

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There are some beautiful beaches in the Everglades.

  1. Smokey Mountains National Park

While in college, I was part of an outdoor club that frequented the Appalachians. Trips with the outdoor club were where Frank and I realized how we felt about each other and some of my favorite trips were at and around Smokey Mountains. There’s climbing, hiking, and some of the best backpacking in the country. The Appalachian Trail runs straight through the park and includes some of the most scenic areas.

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Right outside of the national park is a large waterfall where a bunch of us repelled down (a few of my friends repelled naked… not advised). 

I could include so many more parks, but these are probably the most sentimental to me. If you are ever around any of these (especially Glacier), you should really check them out! I really think the National Park System was America’s best idea!

 

What is your favorite National Park? Are there any that you’ve always wanted to go to? I’ve never been to Yosemite, but I’ve always wanted to.

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39 thoughts on “Friday Five: My Favorite National Parks

  1. Our national parks are such a treasure. We have several in the DC area but we went to the Grand Canyon this summer and love Rocky Mountain National Park in CO. I’d love to visit Glacier!

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  2. What a great collection of parks! I did a quick scroll through the Wikipedia page on US National Parks, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve been to any of them! 😦
    However, I will say that my favourite National Park in Canada is Pacific Rim National Park – on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s wild and beautiful – and I proposed to my sweetheart there, so…ya! Favourite!

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  3. You have enjoyed some fantastic adventures in the National Parks. My sister lives near Grand Teton National Park and that one is very beautiful for hikes. Despite visiting all 7 continents, I have not seen near enough of the US/National Parks.

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    • I’ve only ever been to two continents, so I need to do more exploring too. Grand Teton is one of my favorites. I attempted to climb Grand, but weather, a late start, and injuries got in the way.

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  4. They are all so beautiful. Glacier was magnificent and was so happy to see you and Frank get married there. Cosmic, kinda. It was the best wedding EVER! Our trip to Grand Canyon was amazing too. ❤ ❤

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  5. My husband and I go to national parks every year for our vacation and have visited 15 so far. I think we want to visit Glacier this year! When I saw the picture from the Smokies, I was like, Wow, I do not remember THAT and then read your caption, ha ha. My absolute #1 is Yellowstone (just there last fall) followed closely by Denali, Rocky Mountain, Badlands, and Bryce Canyon…but really, I love them all!

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  6. I love the National Park System!! My lifelong goal is to visit them all, and I’m slowly checking them off my list. My favorite (so far) has been Acadia 🙂 I just went to Hawaii Volcanoes yesterday and will be heading to Haleakala tomorrow!

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  7. OMG I WOULD DIE TO GO TO THE GATES OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL PARK. Seriously. I’ve been to Alaska and I plan to go back, so that might need to get on my list if it’s feasible to get to. Lets see. My favorites: Denali, Kenai Fjords, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. I am dying to head out to Yellowstone and Glacier…actually, I am dying to go to any National Parks. I love them. I think the closest one to me is Cuoyahoga in Ohio. I was there and it WAS cool, but not as breathtaking as the others. Love this post to pieces.

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    • Haha…. Gates is such a pain though! It was really amazing. Despite spending ALOT of time in Alaska, I never made it to Denali. I did go to Kenai, which was a pretty fantastic place. I also like Cuoyahoga (is that really how you spell it?), but it did have a different feel from the others.

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    • The waterfall was pretty, but I did get a little bit of my hair stuck in the descender and had to pull it out…which left me with a rather strange hair-do.

      I still haven’t been there. It might be next on the list.

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